Alberta’s weighted average Power Pool Price for August is currently $221.87/MWh. Relative to last week’s price of $159.88/MWh, this is an increase of $61.99/MWh or 38.7%. Price volatility has continued since picking up mid-month. The monthly price has continued to climb as every daily settle in the past week has surpassed $100/MWh, with daily prices of $487.90/MWh and $443.79/MWh occurring on the 15th and 16th, respectively. There was only one very short generator outage this week at Path 2.

The weighted average Hourly Ontario Energy Price (HOEP) is settling at 8.2¢/kWh so far for the month of August, representing a 0.5¢/kWh or 6.1% decrease over last week’s settle. The primary driver of this price decline is the decrease in demand across the province, causing the grid’s need for demand response to diminish. Natural gas-burning supply dropped by 11.1% (2,331MW) over the course of this past week. Baseload generation, such as nuclear, increased output to an average of 10,301MW, a 16.57MW or 0.2% increase compared to last week. Hydro-based generation, on the other hand, decreased output, falling 4.0% to an average of 4,044MW. Solar and biofuel increased week-over-week output (+3.1%; 107MW, +5.0%; 45MW, respectively), whereas wind generation fell (-23.5%, -819MW). With the first Global Adjustment estimated at 4.9¢/kWh, August’s total market price is settling at 13.1¢/kWh as of today.

Looking at energy prices outside of Canada, monthly wholesale prices in Germany (in Canadian $) ranged anywhere from $0.04/kWh to $0.07/kWh from 2019 through to May 2021. Since last summer, when tensions over natural gas were heightened with Russia, electricity prices began to spike, ranging from $0.17/kWh to, most recently, $0.33/kWh. A few days ago, headlines were made when calendar year 2023 electricity forwards reached an astronomical $0.67/kWh! Germans have been advised to keep their thermostats below 19 degrees Celsius this winter. Their 2021 Renewable Energy Sources Act, which originally stipulated 65% of its energy would come from non-nuclear, renewable resources by 2030, has recently been upped to 85% and accelerated to triple speed. Regrettably, Germany will be retiring the last 3 of its 17 nuclear plants by the end of 2022 and, due to their strong reliance on what was once cheap Russian natural gas gone-wrong, they have refired up their coal-fired generation plants to keep the lights on. With world coal and natural gas prices at record highs, baseload prices for calendar years 2024, 2025 and 2026 aren’t looking much better at CAD$0.42/kWh, CAD$0.29/kWh and $0.23/kWh, respectively.

– Clara Birch, Energy Data Analyst / Ryan Cosgrove, Energy Data Analyst

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